President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine is making his most vehement appeal yet for peace talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but Putin, who has so far been unmoved, is responding ruthlessly by expanding atrocities against people. On Sunday, Zelensky told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that he is available to speak with Putin at any time. His offer came more than three weeks into a fight that looks to have reached a new, more impassed stage on the battlefield. While this is a huge military victory for outgunned Ukraine, it also makes its towns and people much more susceptible to Russian airstrikes.
“It’s a deadlock. But, as ex-CIA Director David Petraeus, a former general who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, stated on CNN’s “State of the Union,” “it’s a terrible stalemate.” “on the following Sunday “It’s also, arguably, a war of attrition.”
Moscow’s forces have dug in around Kyiv, despite growing doubts about their ability to take the capital. Pitched fights are taking place in the south, where the Russians are attempting to gain access to the Black Sea through the cities of Mariupol and Odessa, as well as in the east. Russians are said to have suffered considerable casualties, including the loss of a number of top officials. After their original expectations of a blitzkrieg that might quickly gain control of Ukraine receded, the Kremlin is increasingly resorting to homicidal stand-off barrages from missiles and artillery, including, in an ominous escalation, hypersonic weaponry.
According to local officials, Russian bombs blasted into an arts school in besieged Mariupol on Sunday, killing 400 people who had sought refuge from the conflict. The parameters of a Russian ultimatum that the city surrender by Monday morning were openly rejected by both the Kyiv government and Mariupol local administration. Hundreds of thousands of people are stranded in the city, with horrifying tales of food and water shortages, as well as dire living circumstances. Some experts believe this is a foreshadowing of Kyiv’s impending doom.
The assault on civilians appears to be both a deliberate attempt by Moscow to break Ukraine’s remarkable morale and resistance — and a deliberate attempt by Putin to bomb an independent, sovereign nation, which he claims has no right to exist, to smithereens in order to crush its dreams of joining the West.
Western governments have retaliated by launching anti-tank and anti-air missiles into Ukraine, in what has now become a proxy war with Russia, which would have appeared unthinkable only a few weeks ago. Anxiety is high that the conflict would escalate into a larger battle between the US and Russia, the world’s two most powerful nuclear powers.
This is the difficult position that Joe Biden will face when he travels to Europe this week for the most important trip by a US president in recent years, but with low expectations of a breakthrough in diplomatic efforts to stop the conflict.
Some facts about the probable framework of negotiations aimed at securing a truce are now surfacing ahead of Biden’s arrival. Zelensky wants face-to-face conversations with Putin to iron out the details.
“I’m prepared to negotiate with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I believe that without negotiations, we will be unable to end this conflict “In an exclusive interview with Zakaria, Zelensky revealed.